Unions say there has been progress in talks concerning pensions
The RMT says this is not the end of the dispute
July 22, 2023
Industrial action due to take place on London Underground has been suspended after a breakthrough in talks.
Three unions, the RMT, ASLEF and Unite were planning strikes between 23 and 28 July which would have meant limited to no service on six days.
During talks at ACAS at the end of last week the unions have been assured by Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport that there will not be any changes to pension arrangements until at least 2026 and any changes to working conditions will have to be done through negotiations.
The Mayor of London responded by saying that the cancellation of the strikes was ‘welcome news for Londoners’.
TfL has been told by the government that it must review its pension arrangements as a condition of funding given to cover the shortfall in revenue during the pandemic.
The RMT issued a statement saying, “After pressure from union negotiators and the threat to bring the capital to a standstill for a week, significant concessions were made by TfL where their original plans for jobs cuts and pension changes will not be carried out.
“There are now longer guarantees on protection of earnings, no pension changes for at least 3 years and so-called productivity proposals which would have damaged the terms and conditions of RMT members have been halted.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “However this is not the end of the dispute nor is it a victory for the union as yet.
”Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve.
"RMT's strike mandate remains live until October and we are prepared to use it if necessary.
”We will continue to negotiate in good faith as we always have done with TfL and it was only the steadfast commitment of our members in being prepared to take sustained strike action that has forced the employer to make significant concessions.”
Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s organiser on the Underground, said, ‘After a week of intense negotiations, we have made real progress in making sure our members’ working conditions and pensions are protected from the impact of the Tory government cuts to TfL funding.
‘There will be no changes to pension benefits before the next general election. And any future changes to working conditions and agreements will only be made by negotiation.
‘This is a major step forward.’
TfL's chief operating officer Glynn Barton said, "This is good news for London and we will continue to work closely with our trade unions to discuss the issues and seek a resolution."
In a statement, TfL said it "has provided assurance that there are no current proposals to change pension arrangements" and any future proposals "would require appropriate consultation and extensive further work".
Strikes on the railway network are set to continue with services likely to be disrupted on Saturday 22 July and Saturday 29 July.
On Saturday 22 July and Saturday 29 July, there will be significantly reduced service on South Western Railway which will operate on a limited number of lines. Trains will only run between the hours of 7am and 7pm, with last trains departing at around 5pm. Local trains will be even more limited and local trains will terminate at Twickenham and Hounslow.
Two trains an hour will run between Hounslow and Waterloo serving stations such as Brentford, Isleworth, Kew Bridge and Chiswick.
Stations such as Putney, Barnes and Wandsworth Town will be served by an additional two trains per hour going to Windsor and Ascot. Wimbledon will have eight trains an hour with services from Woking, Southampton and Basingstoke stopping.
On Sunday 23 July a small number of services are expected to be cancelled.
Stuart Meek, Chief Operating Officer at SWR said, “We’re sorry that customers will again face disruption due to industrial action by the ASLEF union and strike action by the RMT union.
“Anybody planning to travel on days affected by the ASLEF union’s industrial action should check their whole journey before they set off and be aware that services are likely to be busier than usual.
“As with the last ASLEF overtime ban, instead of making numerous short-notice amendments and cancellations to our standard timetable, we will operate an amended timetable that we have a high degree of confidence we can reliably and safely deliver. We hope this will give our customers greater certainty when planning their journeys.
“On days of strike action by the RMT union we are sorry to ask that customers should only travel if absolutely necessary.”
The latest information will be available at southwesternrailway.com/strike
Value Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least two articles a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.